The Wall Street Journal reports today that Russian hackers stole documents detailing how United States agencies defend their networks against cyberattacks, how they breach foreign networks and the computer code they use to do so.
Of course it was only past year that Harold Martin, a contractor for the NSA, was arrested after he knowingly took home documents and digital files that contained highly sensitive information. Kaspersky, meanwhile, said there "has not been provided any information or evidence substantiating this alleged incident". In other words, they got the mother load, as Russian Federation could conceivably use the information to infiltrate American networks while protecting their own from incursion.
The revelation comes amid heightened concerns in Washington that hackers working for the Russian government penetrated USA computer networks and tapped social media platforms to meddle with the U.S. 2016 election.
"Ultimately, without systems in place that can identify things like someone extracting sensitive information, irresponsible use of removable media or email, large scale exports of data and immediately flag it up to security analysts who are able to take action, these types of breaches will continue to happen".
The data will enable the Russians to infiltrate the USA networks and protect their own network from hacking.
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NSA is one of the world's most powerful government agencies. Kaspersky has always been accused of having close ties with the Russian government, going as far as aiding it in spying on the USA governments through, as in this case, contractors and ordinary citizens.
The contractor in question took the classified code and other documents to his home and worked on the same using his personal computer, which had Kaspersky Antivirus installed on it. A bill funding the military that the Senate passed last month would ban use of Kaspersky software in the armed services.
"Does the Russian government have direct access to Kaspersky data? Note we make no apologies for being aggressive in the battle against cyberthreats".
Kaspersky Lab said in a statement it "does not have inappropriate ties to the Russian government". His critics say it's unlikely that his company could operate independently in Russian Federation, where the economy is dominated by state-owned companies and the power of spy agencies has expanded dramatically under President Vladimir Putin.
"NSA needs to get its head out of the sand and solve its contractor problem".
You may have heard news recently that federal government agencies were directed to stop using products made by the computer security vendor Kaspersky Lab because of potential security risks from links between Kaspersky officials and the Russian government.